Institute for Traffic Safety and Automation Engineering

The Institute for Traffic Safety and Automation Engineering
Traffic safety and automation engineering are essential for mobility, traffic and economics. The objective of the institute is to contribute - via academic research and teachings as well as publicity - to road safety by the use of automation of traffic flow and vehicles on road or rail with the help of the most advanced technologies (e.g. satellite systems), description tools, methods and tools.
Road safety via automation following natural examples.
This is the claim that we realise in our numerous courses as well as in our basic and practical researches and that are published in our congresses or papers. Coming from our main research of traffic safety and automation engineering the research of traffic interaction has its emphasis on the application range of road safety and automation, therefore the main research of systemic and cooperative systems explores the theoretical basics, methods and calculation tools. For research purposes the department is provided with some test vehicles and an experimental area.
We wish to approach the complex matter of traffic safety in a coherent, fundamental way and thus understand traffic as a networked system of cooperation elements/processes. The structuring into four main domains of our research results from this approach. On the application-oriented side the concrete object fields vehicles and traffic, with the emphasis on safety as a system characteristic and system aim, as well as the automation engineering as means to an end that bases on the theoretical and abstract base domains of systemic and cooperative systems including terminology.

Methodical Approach

According to the amount of aspects of traffic safety a complete penetration of this theme can only be achieved from the conceptual thematic side; but only generically evaluated in practice. The conceptual structure is the basis for suitability and the selection of the model concepts. Within the scaling from abstract to concrete the following ranking applies:
  • Conceptual-thematic capture and terminological structure
  • Development or selection of model concepts, integration of model concepts
  • Formalisation of the model concepts
  • Progress of theoretical formal models as object of study and development of research methods
  • Research by simulation and analyses
  • Development of simulators and demonstrators, benchmark and behaviour models, virtual reality simulators, human in the loop, real time demonstrators
  • Development of a testing instrumentation for demonstrators, real experiments and in-situ examinations (for example measuring equipments and measuring vehicles).
In this process three methodological key aspects are remarkable:
Theoretical Examination. Theoretical research for traffic safety is carried out on the base of formal techniques which are: means of description (Beschreibungsmittel), methods (Methoden) and tools (Werkzeuge). This combination is also known as BMWconcept. They especially enable the conceptual and theoretical integration of the various approaches. By realising the integration with coupled models, cooperative data processors and tools which can be geographically distributed and linked via the internet, completely novel possibilities are coming up to analyse complex systems in the field of traffic safety. This research method furthermore allows the inclusion of original components or systems. Human participation in transport can be included into the research, too. With this method interesting fields of safety related research becomes accessible in a complex closed line of conceptual model analysis and simulations of real experiments up to the fictional and actual operation integration.
Terminology Management. Transparent modelling of the exuberant diversity of connected domain specific language is in the focus of this methodological key aspect. The objective is to create a software platform which can serve as a base for modelling various terminologies of different scientific domains and businesses. As part of this work a new terminology management system will be developed on the base of a newly developed sign model. This terminology management allows to map terminologies more detailed and interconnectedly than possible up to now. We focus especially the difficulties of linguistic relations like synonyms, homonyms, overlap between domain specific languages, meaning similarities and several possible translations.
Through the intensive discussion of various theories, a sign-related model has been developed. This was always done with a particular view to practical problems and problems of existing systems enabling a further development and a permanent software improvement.
Experimental Examination. Studies with simulators, demonstrators and test vehicles as well as systematic evaluation of events of damage are practical components for scientific studies under real conditions. Scaled simulators of road and rail traffic and the integration of components of traffic control systems enable real time service-based research on safety relevant properties with specific reproducible conditions. By using independent measurement platforms and reference state generators characteristic traffic measures can be assessed in real traffic environment. Therefore appropriate test vehicles have to be equipped and designed. This enables the acquisition of data on the one hand even in traffic flow and the testing of safety measures, concepts and facilities in real environment on the other hand. The systematic evaluation and analysis of documented events of damage in traffic are in turn an excellent base for validation and parameterization of the theoretical modelling.